OTTAWA -- With a tip of the hat to 4-H on its centennial anniversary, the 86th annual Ottawa Valley Farm Show (OVFS) officially opened March 12 at the Ernst and Young Centre, second year for the event at the modern venue.
Keynote speaker of the show kickoff, Rob Black, President of the Canadian 4-H Council, took the microphone to talk about some of the highlights and history of the organization.
"4-H is one of the longest running youth organizations in Canada and I'd say it is the best darn youth program in Canada!" he exclaimed.
Black went on to note the origins of the program in Manitoba and thanked the volunteers and past members for helping the program grow to its current state.
On hand to welcome everyone in attendance was OVFS General Manager Tom Van Dusen, who outlined some of the planned events and initiatives across the country that will pay homage to 4-H on the occasion of its 100th. These include a centennial gala, May 30, in Winnipeg; the creation of "$100 for 100", a national legacy fundraising campaign that aims to raise $100,000 to help expand and grow 4-H across Canada; a partnership with Canada Post involving the creation of an envelope; a video competition; a national food drive campaign; as well as the Do More with Less' recipe challenge, that teaches 4-H members how to plan a healthy meal on a budget to raise awareness of poverty across Canada.
The food drive will extend to the farm show, as the 4-H booth is taking donations throughout the event.
Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association President, Bruce Hudson, also took the opportunity to welcome visitors and point out some of the winning 4-H exhibits at the seed growers' booth, where the opening ceremonies took place.
Afterwards, International Plowing Match President Robert MacLean of Frontenac County and Ontario Queen of the Furrow Sara Little invited guests to the upcoming IPM in Mitchell, Ontario.
Black concluded the ceremonies by thanking the OVFS and Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association, as well as all the volunteer members and sponsors of 4-H. He received a gift from Van Dusen, and with that the 2013 OVFS was officially underway.